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Desire for Skill Level Between "All Pro" and "All Madden" (and other musings)

Dear EA executives/Madden design team:

This is coming from a long-time player and purveyor of Madden. I've been playing the game since Madden '01, and it's really the primary reason I purchase video game systems, controllers, etc. to begin with, so I'd venture to guess I've forked over somewhere between $1,500-2,000 for Madden over my lifetime.

For the love of god, can you please invest some time and effort into creating a mode that sits between "All Pro" and "All Madden"? For probably the last decade now, I've been buying the game every year sincerely hoping that some patch updates will have been made, and that I'll be able to play a fun, challenging game without wanting to break my controller and smash my TV. But alas, every year, I get stuck with the option of either winning every game I play by 70-3, or playing on a level where the computer opponents make ungodly plays, my own players turn into dunces, and the refs clearly have money riding on the game, in favor of the opposition. Realistically, at least for the casual fan, neither of the game modes are very fun - the former is boring, and the latter is extremely frustrating... so much so that I have to laugh to stop myself from crying at times. I'm sure there are some really skilled players out there that do fine on All-Madden, but I know plenty of folks who exclusively play on All-Pro to avoid these headaches. Seriously, does anyone even use the lower settings? Get rid of those and give us a real middle ground!

Just to highlight a few of the frustrating elements of "All Madden":
  • Match-ups or player ratings don't seem to matter - regardless of how much I invest in a position on the field, you better believe the computer's player (who likely isn't rated higher than an 80 overall) is going to beat yours, nine times out of ten
  • If it's 2nd and short or 3rd and short, don't even bother running any kind of straight-line, downhill run play, because your guards and centers are going to immediately let their d-lineman through to stuff the play.
  • Good luck with getting ANY real time in the pocket, and be aware that your quarterback WILL fumble the ball at least 75% of the time that he is sacked.
  • Don't bother throwing any kind of jump balls downfield, regardless of who you have at wide receiver, because it's 100% going to get intercepted.
  • Oh my gosh! You're player actually got open down the sideline? Don't hold your breath here either, since your QB is definitely going to either overthrow him, or throw it out of bounds.
  • Don't bother playing with any rookie QBs. Every other throw they attempt is going to be so far off target that you'll wonder how they even made it in the NFL.
  • If your player gets tackled right at the first down marker, trust that it's always going to be marked short, HOWEVER if the computer player gets the exact SAME amount of yardage, it's 100% going to be a first down.
  • You finally broke a big play? Don't get too excited, because I'm certain SOMEONE was holding.
  • It really doesn't matter what offense you play against, but they're going to have all day in the pocket unless you send at least 6 players to blitz. In the event that you only rush four, one of your secondary players will inexplicably leave a guy uncovered, and it's an automatic first down for the offense.
  • Think you're going to tackle a guy on first contact? Keep dreaming - doesn't matter who it is, they're breaking or juking at least one tackle (even if you go for a conservative tackle).
  • On the rare occasion you stop the opposing offense, you better believe their punter is going to pin you at the one yard-line.

All I'm asking is would it be so incredibly hard to create another mode that could make games more realistic without it feeling like the game is cheating? Ideally, I'd like to be battling to records of 10-6 or 12-4, not either going undefeated or being lucky to get 6 wins. Please, please, please make this game fun again, so I can continue to justify shelling out what now amounts to another $70 a year. Personally, I'm okay if that means that you take a year off of updating touchdown celebrations, cut scenes, "storyline" modes, or player likeness, and actually invest in game play.

While I'm at it, can I also throw out some other thoughts/concerns?
  • When was the last time you changed up the plays, either offensively or defensively? I'm so tired of running the exact same plays over, and over, and over. The NFL is becoming more dynamic with special trick plays that excite, yet none of these are available in the game? I know there used to be a halfback pass, so why was this ever removed?
  • I actually really liked the new progression feature - it's so much simpler than me having to manually bump up attributes, and I can trust that what I'm adding will lead to improvements in specific areas of a players game. However, this would be cool if it really felt like any of this actually impacted a player's ability IN THE GAME. As I mentioned above, this all seems to go out the door on "All-Madden".
  • Injuries... honestly, if you leave injuries at the default level, it feels like someone is getting injured on every other play. This isn't a big deal, because you can manually crank down injuries (which I usually do take it down to around a "20"), but is no one seriously looking at this on your end to say, "wow", we probably want to turn those down?
  • Final thought - I would LOVE if you added an expansion team mode. I know that really throws a kink into NFL scheduling, NFL division breakouts... really everything, but I just think it would be really cool to start a team from essentially nothing and build them into a Super Bowl contender.

In the meantime, if there is any way for me to RETURN this version and get my money back, I'll be happy to send you my disk, go back to playing Madden '18 (which is essentially the same game), and wait until you guys can promise to make some real changes/updates before coughing over another $70.

Replies

  • Dear EA executives/Madden design team:

    This is coming from a long-time player and purveyor of Madden. I've been playing the game since Madden '01, and it's really the primary reason I purchase video game systems, controllers, etc. to begin with, so I'd venture to guess I've forked over somewhere between $1,500-2,000 for Madden over my lifetime.

    For the love of god, can you please invest some time and effort into creating a mode that sits between "All Pro" and "All Madden"? For probably the last decade now, I've been buying the game every year sincerely hoping that some patch updates will have been made, and that I'll be able to play a fun, challenging game without wanting to break my controller and smash my TV. But alas, every year, I get stuck with the option of either winning every game I play by 70-3, or playing on a level where the computer opponents make ungodly plays, my own players turn into dunces, and the refs clearly have money riding on the game, in favor of the opposition. Realistically, at least for the casual fan, neither of the game modes are very fun - the former is boring, and the latter is extremely frustrating... so much so that I have to laugh to stop myself from crying at times. I'm sure there are some really skilled players out there that do fine on All-Madden, but I know plenty of folks who exclusively play on All-Pro to avoid these headaches. Seriously, does anyone even use the lower settings? Get rid of those and give us a real middle ground!

    Just to highlight a few of the frustrating elements of "All Madden":
    • Match-ups or player ratings don't seem to matter - regardless of how much I invest in a position on the field, you better believe the computer's player (who likely isn't rated higher than an 80 overall) is going to beat yours, nine times out of ten
    • If it's 2nd and short or 3rd and short, don't even bother running any kind of straight-line, downhill run play, because your guards and centers are going to immediately let their d-lineman through to stuff the play.
    • Good luck with getting ANY real time in the pocket, and be aware that your quarterback WILL fumble the ball at least 75% of the time that he is sacked.
    • Don't bother throwing any kind of jump balls downfield, regardless of who you have at wide receiver, because it's 100% going to get intercepted.
    • Oh my gosh! You're player actually got open down the sideline? Don't hold your breath here either, since your QB is definitely going to either overthrow him, or throw it out of bounds.
    • Don't bother playing with any rookie QBs. Every other throw they attempt is going to be so far off target that you'll wonder how they even made it in the NFL.
    • If your player gets tackled right at the first down marker, trust that it's always going to be marked short, HOWEVER if the computer player gets the exact SAME amount of yardage, it's 100% going to be a first down.
    • You finally broke a big play? Don't get too excited, because I'm certain SOMEONE was holding.
    • It really doesn't matter what offense you play against, but they're going to have all day in the pocket unless you send at least 6 players to blitz. In the event that you only rush four, one of your secondary players will inexplicably leave a guy uncovered, and it's an automatic first down for the offense.
    • Think you're going to tackle a guy on first contact? Keep dreaming - doesn't matter who it is, they're breaking or juking at least one tackle (even if you go for a conservative tackle).
    • On the rare occasion you stop the opposing offense, you better believe their punter is going to pin you at the one yard-line.

    All I'm asking is would it be so incredibly hard to create another mode that could make games more realistic without it feeling like the game is cheating? Ideally, I'd like to be battling to records of 10-6 or 12-4, not either going undefeated or being lucky to get 6 wins. Please, please, please make this game fun again, so I can continue to justify shelling out what now amounts to another $70 a year. Personally, I'm okay if that means that you take a year off of updating touchdown celebrations, cut scenes, "storyline" modes, or player likeness, and actually invest in game play.

    While I'm at it, can I also throw out some other thoughts/concerns?
    • When was the last time you changed up the plays, either offensively or defensively? I'm so tired of running the exact same plays over, and over, and over. The NFL is becoming more dynamic with special trick plays that excite, yet none of these are available in the game? I know there used to be a halfback pass, so why was this ever removed?
    • I actually really liked the new progression feature - it's so much simpler than me having to manually bump up attributes, and I can trust that what I'm adding will lead to improvements in specific areas of a players game. However, this would be cool if it really felt like any of this actually impacted a player's ability IN THE GAME. As I mentioned above, this all seems to go out the door on "All-Madden".
    • Injuries... honestly, if you leave injuries at the default level, it feels like someone is getting injured on every other play. This isn't a big deal, because you can manually crank down injuries (which I usually do take it down to around a "20"), but is no one seriously looking at this on your end to say, "wow", we probably want to turn those down?
    • Final thought - I would LOVE if you added an expansion team mode. I know that really throws a kink into NFL scheduling, NFL division breakouts... really everything, but I just think it would be really cool to start a team from essentially nothing and build them into a Super Bowl contender.

    In the meantime, if there is any way for me to RETURN this version and get my money back, I'll be happy to send you my disk, go back to playing Madden '18 (which is essentially the same game), and wait until you guys can promise to make some real changes/updates before coughing over another $70.

    With the exception of the last paragraph... I could have written that entire post myself. Albeit a little less entertaining....as I tend to come across snarky and sarcasm runs through my veins.

    We are most definitely cut from the same cloth.

    As for the last paragraph... Well, i guess deep down I'm the eternal optimist... Cause I'll keep playing (taking 42-9 buttwhippings) until I just can't take it anymore... usually around mid-season when I'm 2-6...if I'm lucky. The I'll switch back down... use my team AS IS making no pick-ups, trades or making any adjustments in an effort to NOT go 16-0...until boredom consumes me and I switch over to NBA2K.

    Good luck my friend.
  • Probably one of the best posts ever. But this has been the issue in Madden's forever. I've seen responses to similar posts that EA will never change All Madden because it performs exactly how they want it to... So as spot on as this post is, unfortunately they will never change it, because in their eyes, it's not broken. Please, if I'm wrong, someone from EA comment.
  • I agree 100% what I do every year besides playing h2h is play my franchise mode on all pro with all the ball hawk and everything else off that gives you cpu assistance ( Something which I wish madden would get rid of too which would create more of a skill gap) and play like that because All Madden isn’t fun at all. I see that ea probably cannot make a challenging mode without resorting to the cpu just cheating you. 😕
  • Dear EA executives/Madden design team:

    This is coming from a long-time player and purveyor of Madden. I've been playing the game since Madden '01, and it's really the primary reason I purchase video game systems, controllers, etc. to begin with, so I'd venture to guess I've forked over somewhere between $1,500-2,000 for Madden over my lifetime.

    For the love of god, can you please invest some time and effort into creating a mode that sits between "All Pro" and "All Madden"? For probably the last decade now, I've been buying the game every year sincerely hoping that some patch updates will have been made, and that I'll be able to play a fun, challenging game without wanting to break my controller and smash my TV. But alas, every year, I get stuck with the option of either winning every game I play by 70-3, or playing on a level where the computer opponents make ungodly plays, my own players turn into dunces, and the refs clearly have money riding on the game, in favor of the opposition. Realistically, at least for the casual fan, neither of the game modes are very fun - the former is boring, and the latter is extremely frustrating... so much so that I have to laugh to stop myself from crying at times. I'm sure there are some really skilled players out there that do fine on All-Madden, but I know plenty of folks who exclusively play on All-Pro to avoid these headaches. Seriously, does anyone even use the lower settings? Get rid of those and give us a real middle ground!

    Just to highlight a few of the frustrating elements of "All Madden":
    • Match-ups or player ratings don't seem to matter - regardless of how much I invest in a position on the field, you better believe the computer's player (who likely isn't rated higher than an 80 overall) is going to beat yours, nine times out of ten
    • If it's 2nd and short or 3rd and short, don't even bother running any kind of straight-line, downhill run play, because your guards and centers are going to immediately let their d-lineman through to stuff the play.
    • Good luck with getting ANY real time in the pocket, and be aware that your quarterback WILL fumble the ball at least 75% of the time that he is sacked.
    • Don't bother throwing any kind of jump balls downfield, regardless of who you have at wide receiver, because it's 100% going to get intercepted.
    • Oh my gosh! You're player actually got open down the sideline? Don't hold your breath here either, since your QB is definitely going to either overthrow him, or throw it out of bounds.
    • Don't bother playing with any rookie QBs. Every other throw they attempt is going to be so far off target that you'll wonder how they even made it in the NFL.
    • If your player gets tackled right at the first down marker, trust that it's always going to be marked short, HOWEVER if the computer player gets the exact SAME amount of yardage, it's 100% going to be a first down.
    • You finally broke a big play? Don't get too excited, because I'm certain SOMEONE was holding.
    • It really doesn't matter what offense you play against, but they're going to have all day in the pocket unless you send at least 6 players to blitz. In the event that you only rush four, one of your secondary players will inexplicably leave a guy uncovered, and it's an automatic first down for the offense.
    • Think you're going to tackle a guy on first contact? Keep dreaming - doesn't matter who it is, they're breaking or juking at least one tackle (even if you go for a conservative tackle).
    • On the rare occasion you stop the opposing offense, you better believe their punter is going to pin you at the one yard-line.

    All I'm asking is would it be so incredibly hard to create another mode that could make games more realistic without it feeling like the game is cheating? Ideally, I'd like to be battling to records of 10-6 or 12-4, not either going undefeated or being lucky to get 6 wins. Please, please, please make this game fun again, so I can continue to justify shelling out what now amounts to another $70 a year. Personally, I'm okay if that means that you take a year off of updating touchdown celebrations, cut scenes, "storyline" modes, or player likeness, and actually invest in game play.

    While I'm at it, can I also throw out some other thoughts/concerns?
    • When was the last time you changed up the plays, either offensively or defensively? I'm so tired of running the exact same plays over, and over, and over. The NFL is becoming more dynamic with special trick plays that excite, yet none of these are available in the game? I know there used to be a halfback pass, so why was this ever removed?
    • I actually really liked the new progression feature - it's so much simpler than me having to manually bump up attributes, and I can trust that what I'm adding will lead to improvements in specific areas of a players game. However, this would be cool if it really felt like any of this actually impacted a player's ability IN THE GAME. As I mentioned above, this all seems to go out the door on "All-Madden".
    • Injuries... honestly, if you leave injuries at the default level, it feels like someone is getting injured on every other play. This isn't a big deal, because you can manually crank down injuries (which I usually do take it down to around a "20"), but is no one seriously looking at this on your end to say, "wow", we probably want to turn those down?
    • Final thought - I would LOVE if you added an expansion team mode. I know that really throws a kink into NFL scheduling, NFL division breakouts... really everything, but I just think it would be really cool to start a team from essentially nothing and build them into a Super Bowl contender.

    In the meantime, if there is any way for me to RETURN this version and get my money back, I'll be happy to send you my disk, go back to playing Madden '18 (which is essentially the same game), and wait until you guys can promise to make some real changes/updates before coughing over another $70.

  • I hope they listen to you because a lot of us feel the same way!!! Bottom line they need competition! Without true competition, they feed us crap!
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